Dangerous driving is a criminal driving charge where;
- the driver is accused of driving a motor vehicle with “wanton and reckless disregard for the lives and safety of others”.
- the dangerous driving must occur in a public place where there is a likelihood of people being present.
- there does not have to be anyone actually present for the offence of dangerous driving to be committed.
A public place is considered to be any place where the public has access to, including schools, parking lots, and shopping malls. The police and prosecution must also prove that the driver had “intent” to commit the dangerous driving.
To convict a driver of dangerous driving, the Criminal Code of Canada states that the court must consider all of the circumstances of the actions of the accused, such as;
- the nature, conditions and the use of the place
- the amount of traffic that is or might be expected to be present
- was there a danger to the public,
- who was present or, who might have been present, including for example a passenger in the car.
- the court also has to consider the mental element of the charge, did the driver plan on doing the act.
- If there is proof of an intention to operate a motor vehicle in away which would be a departure from the standard care that a normal driver would be expected to act.
The offence of dangerous driving has to be committed involving a motor vehicle as described in the Criminal Code, which is;
- any vehicle that is pushed, pulled or driven by an engine of any sort, including tractors, construction machines, and anything that has an engine attached to it.
For a conviction of dangerous driving, the prosecution and the police have to prove that there was intent to commit the act, the act was dangerous and there was or could be the likelihood of the public being present.